I't National Picnic Day and I cannot think of a better day to have a picnic. It's Saturday, nearly May and buds of pale white, pinks and greens are magically appearing all over the place. Unfortunately, here on the East Coast in Southern New England it also happens to be raining - but I won't let a little matter like that dampen my mood, or the day. Picnics can be held anywhere. Of course they're lovely in the park or at the beach or even in your own back yard, but they're just as wonderful on covered porches or even inside. I happen to love a good indoor picnic - It's a much more casual and fun way to eat. I hope the below ideas will inspire you to have a picnic today!
Picnics are great at all times of the day. Morning and evening are some of my favorite times especially at the beach when it is less crowded and when the sun isn't as strong. For morning fresh fruit, breakfast sandwiches and coffee are the perfect way to enjoy the early morning sun, listen to the birds and the waves and feel the sun's warm rays on your cheeks. If it's not to windy bring the weekend paper, a magazine or a book to enjoy as well.
In the evening I love nothing more than a nice bottle of wine, some bread, cheese and crudités. It can be as simple as that or more elaborate. You can pick up dinner (take out) and bring it to the beach. Or order pizza and have it delivered. Pizza and wine on the beach is wonderful. A nice salad and some good bread is another easy alternative.
Not all picnics have to be seated on the ground. A beautiful sheet or tablecloth tossed over a table or picnic table can really set the mood. Add some flowers, such as above and lovely melamine plates, if you've got them in lieu of paper ones to make the affair more festive.
Low picnic tables and oversized stuffed pillows work indoors and outdoors - at the beach, park, poolside and indoors - are a great alternative to sitting on the ground or at a high table. Instead of pillows beach chairs can be placed around these tables as well.
Indoor, rainy day and cool weather picnics always pair perfectly with hot cocoa and s'mores. The small sterno containers can be found readily, and probably at your local grocery store. Soak some wooden skewers in water (just as precaution) and you're ready to make your tasty treats. Note: Sterno containers should not be directly on flammable materials such as picnic blankets.
I've always wanted to turn my back yard into a movie theater. Maybe this will be the summer. An outdoor picnic and a movie makes for a perfect evening activity. You can serve popcorn, candy and drinks or a nice, light supper. Prepared sandwiches or even pizza would be best so that you and your guests don't have to keep getting up and down.
I've always loved the elegance and simplicity of a good cheese and charcuterie platter. Add some sliced bread, breadsticks, crackers, nuts, fruit, shrimp, olives and deviled eggs and you'll have a wonderful variety and more food than you'll ever need!
The beauty of an indoor picnic is that you've got all the amenities nearby and you need not worry about the weather! Perhaps indulge your guests in a game of Pictionary or Cards Against Humanity for some uproarious fun!
Below are some picnic food ideas.
Sandwiches are always appropriate and always fun.
Salads, from potato to Greek to Caesar are also a good choice. They're easy to make and transport. Just be sure, in the case of salads with lettuce, not to add the dressing until the last moment to prevent sogginess. With Panzanella salads, I would add the bread at the very last moment. And fruit salads are always a hit for those who like to end their meal on a healthy and sweet note.
But really, a picnic isn't a picnic without some baked goods... brownies, cookies, lemon bars...
Mason jars are a great way to serve beverages, but if you're not picnicking at home, they may get heavy. You'll want to keep your load as light as possible.
I hope this has inspired you to Celebrate National Picnic Day and have one of your own! For more ideas, click the link to read about 13 Sandwiches you must make this summer.